Michel Foucault refers to 1965-1970 as, in philosophical terms, 'the five brief, impassioned, jubilant, enigmatic years'. This book reinterprets Jacques Derrida's work from this period, most especially in L'Écriture et la Différence (Writing and Difference), and argues that a transformation takes place here which has been marginalized in readings of his work to date. Irwin follows with a look at how the 'grammatological opening' becomes crucial for Derrida's work in the 1970s and beyond, incorporating one of his last readings of embodiment from 2000. By drawing our attention to the politics of desire and sexuality, this groundbreaking book engages with the work of key continental theorists, including Artaud, Bataille, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas and Cixous, whilst also examining Derrida's relationship with Plato and feminist theory. It will appeal to a wide range of readers within the social sciences and philosophy, particularly those with interests in gender and sexuality, social theory, continental thought, queer studies and literary theory.